Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Freshmaker

So I'm on progesterone suppositories 3x a day and if I do get pregnant I will continue them until the 10th week of pregnancy. I never knew about this sort of thing until I went to my IVF orientation. The RN went over the what meds I'd be taking and why. I didn't even give it a second though until my discharge instructions from my egg retrieval (ER) were "start the progesterone capsules 3x a day asap".

So after a long nap after discharge from ER I get my box of progesterone capsules and peer into the box. "What the hell"! The progesterone capsule is white and looks like a flippin' Mentos. Mmm. The Freshmaker!

In the box were applicators, I see small packages of capsules but these applicators look weird. So I actually read the instructions. Which are: wash hands, rip open a packet of capsules and put one in the applicator then insert into vagina and shoot way up into your cooter. Repeat at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fertilization Report!!

I got the call at 9:30am this morning that out of the 6 eggs retrieved all 6 were mature. Even better ALL 6 fertilized!!!

This is HUGE!!!

I forgot for a moment that it's not about quantity, but about the quality. Yesterday I was bummed we didn't get more eggs out of Lefty, today I'm very thankful that she gave me 6 good eggs that have fertilized. I know that others going through their IVF journey aren't always so lucky to have all the mature eggs fertilize, so today I'm thankful.

I go back to work tomorrow and I know I have more than enough work waiting for me to keep me busy. I'm just trying to occupy my time and mind until Thursday when I get a phone call advising if we will be having a 3 day transfer on Thursday or a 5 day transfer on Saturday.

Here's a good picture from the world wide web depicting what the Embryologist and Doctor look for in embryo development over the next few days.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Egg Retrieval Day!

Today was our Egg Retrieval. H and I got to the clinic at 7am and Marilyn the happy office assistant was very excited to see us. I have never seen such a morning person as Marilyn, she's chipper and welcoming and kept the vagina discussions to a minimum in front of my H (poor guy).

I had to put a gown on and hop on a gurney. Then I had an IV started in my hand which hurt like a bitch. I've never had an IV in the hand before, they usually opt for my arm. Oh well.

I was wheeled into the sterile procedure room at 7:30am and soon had enough of Michael Jackson's "bed time cocktail" of sedation drugs in my system. The last thing I remember is the doctor holding my hand and looking into my eyes telling me they were going to take very good care of me. He's such a great doctor. But by that time I was drifting off to sleep and was kind of like "Ugh let go of my hand, I'm trying to drift of to la-la land here".

My retrieval was completed in less than 30 minutes. I woke up feeling massively uncomfortable, but not too horrible. They gave me some extra strength Tylenol let me sit on the side of the bed for a little while until I was steady enough to get dressed and walk out to the car. It was less of a big deal than I thought it was going to be. I've had a D&C before and I was so drugged after that I couldn't even really walk myself out of the surgery center. This retrieval was nothing like that, thankfully.

I left knowing that they were able to get 6 eggs. I was a little disappointed with that number and became a little more worried as the day progressed. I knew that that on my last u/s I had 8 or 9 follicles that were noteworthy and only 4 were mature. The Dr. came out to tell my H while I was in recovery that they got 6 eggs out of the bigger follices but the 2 smaller follicles basically disappeared and started collapsing in and dissolving so there was nothing to get there.

I know I have the diagnosis of Diminished Ovarian Reserve but I was hoping for Lefty to give me 8 or 9 to work with.

So now we wait for tomorrow's phone call with the Fertility Report from the REs office...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

IVF Care Package!

My Cousin sent me an IVF care package all the way from Dallas! I was so touched by her card and thoughtfulness that I cried while trying to read it out loud to my H. I ended up tossing the card his way saying "just read it". She had done some research online and taken note of what other ladies had said helped them have a successful and calming IVF experience.

In this big ass care package was:
  • 2 boxes of chocolates and chocolate truffles
  • 4 comedy DVDs for my days of bedrest(My Cousin Vinny, Caddyshack, National Lampoon Vacation, Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
  • 3 tins of really awesome smelling body butters
  • 2 pairs of soft, comfy socks
  • Heating Pad
  • Some digestive aids for the retrieval/transfer medications that can "bind you up"
  • Sleep mask
  • Clay face masks
  • and best of all a Boxing Mitt so I can punch that instead of my husband (lol)
While I have been very selective in who I've shared with that we are actually going through IVF, I'm so glad that I have been keeping our immediate family and close friends in the loop about our infertility journey. We have a small army of people praying for us and sending us good vibes and positivity from all across the country and that has made all the difference in the world to me. I'm feeling very grateful and thankful for what I do have in life and shifting the focus away from what I don't yet have.

Oh, and I've already cracked into those chocolates. Please don't tell my husband!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Monitoring Appointment #3

At 8am we went for our third monitoring appointment. The office was a little backed up and you could sense the frustration in the waiting room full of hormonal ladies dressed in bag lady chic attire. I tried not to judge my fellow infertiles but some of them hadn't even brushed their hair and were obviously wearing pajama bottoms. I realize it's 8am on a Saturday and it's suddenly chilly outside,but goodness gracious!  At  the very least you should be brushing your hair if you're going out in public!

This mornings u/s while uncomfortable wasn't as bad as Thursday's u/s. I think this impacted the measurements that the RN came up with. She said she was only showing 3 mature (when she said there had been 4 Thursday) and 4 more on the cusp. She wasn't moving that probe around nearly as thoroughly as she had been two days ago, but all that matters is what they actually get on egg retrieval day.

After we were done, H and I went out to breakfast at a really yummy breakfast place. I ate Eggs Benedict in keeping with the egg theme of the morning. The RN called me back around 2pm with instructions that I'm to stop lovenox, stop the stim shots and only have to do my HCG shot at 9:30 tonight.

Most importantly our egg retrieval will be Monday at 7:30 am! My H and I have to be at the surgery center at 7:00am. I can't believe the day is finally here! I'm really hoping that they get 8 mature, good eggs from me. I'd be so proud of Lefty if she could make that happen for me.

I have to start my antibiotics tomorrow in the am and pm and best news of all I don't have to take a single shot until Thursday. Praise Jesus! Hallelujah!

My legs and stomach are so bruised and sore that it was getting really difficult to have to do three shots a day. Last nights stim shot hurt so bad that I had to poke myself 3 times to get a good spot. I was tired and felt very defeated and the tears started flowing. I hadn't had an injection hurt that bad in the two months I've been doing them. I was bleeding like a bitch from all three of the injection sites and it just wasn't a great moment. The emotions and crying quickly passed though once I finished the shot.

The ovarian cramping has definitely picked up over the past 3 days. Sometimes they stop me in my tracks and take my breath away. Sometimes they have me walking funny and I can pretty much count on not wearing any pants with a big waistband after 7pm, I'm just too bloated by the end of the day. While this all sucks, it's a good indication that the medications are working. It will all be worth it in the end!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Monitoring Appointment #2

This morning was our second monitoring appointment. My husband came with and I'm sure the sight of me ass in the air under a paper sheet is a sight he will relish in for years to come.

The ultrasound was pretty uncomfortable especially when they are rotating that probe around to try and count all the follicles. As I tried to go to my happy place (which is mostly my sarcastic and borderline rude comments that I usually keep to myself) in my head I'm hearing myself say "Excuse me nurse, are you looking for follicles or trying to drill a pilot hole in my cervix? Please go easy on me!"

The RN measured 10 follicles which I'm pretty proud of for having one ovary, diminished ovarian reserve and PCOS. 4 are mature (anything over 12 mm) 4 are between 8 and 10mm and the other 2 might develop into mature in time for the egg retrieval. I'm also now on lovenox, ganirelix  both in the a.m. and still stimming at night. I do feel like a bloated pin cushion but it will be worth it in the end. I go back on Saturday at 8am for another monitoring appointment.

Poor Lefty is so swollen and tender but that little girl is doing her best the make sure I'll be spitting out eggs like Henrietta the Hen come egg retrieval day. B'gawk!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monitoring Appointment #1

I went for an early morning monitoring appointment and blood draw today. The RN already called me back with instructions to come back on Thursday the 25th for another u/s and blood draw.

This mornings u/s showed that I have 8 follicles and two are leading the pack at 12mm and 10mm. I have four follicles at 8mm, one at 7mm and one at 6mm. I'm hoping they are all magically mature eggs and that I'll have a bounty of awesome, mature eggs to fertilize.

The u/s was so uncomfortable because my ovary usually lays more toward the posterior position and hides near my bootay so they really have to jab and probe that wand around to even find it. I'm sure today was more painful because "lefty" is "tender" right now. I just had to go to my happy place (which is anywhere but on that table with my crotch in the air) and breath through the pain. The best analogy I can compare it to is like taking a serrated knife to the asshole. Not that I know what a knife to the asshole feels like but I imagine it's just as shitty.

I'm anticipating the discomfort/pain gets worse as the ovary is more stimulated. I'm sure it's nothing compared to childbirth but for right now, for me, it's a little much for 7:15am on a Tuesday when you have to go to work and go about your day as if you haven't been harpooned in the vagina.

I just keep reminding myself all you need is one good embryo to hang onto the womb for dear life to have a baby!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cycle Day 5

Today marks CD5. So far so good. I haven't had any wicked side effects from my "stimming" drugs (stimulating hormones). I have had the urge to urinate a lot more than usual. Today was my first day of feeling tender on the left side (where my ovary is) and feeling that full, bloated feeling you get with PMS. I have a feeling I will be in sweats soon after I get home from work.

I go tomorrow at 7am for a monitoring appointment with blood work and u/s. I'll give another update tomorrow.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Baseline Blood Work and Ultrasound

This morning I went to the clinic for CD2 (cycle day 2) baseline blood work and ultrasound (u/s). The u/s showed that my lining (which is shedding) was at 6mm which is good for a CD2. It should be around 7-12mm. U/s also showed and that I have 7 antral follicles and two small cysts. The cysts come with PCOS territory (I almost always have one) and will need to be monitored as I'm taking the stimulating hormones. I'm not going to worry about those cysts until they tell me I have something to be worried about.

I also had my husband go with me to be my second set of eyes and ears while they taught me how to mix up all my stim shots. A little labor intensive but no bigger than the lovenox needles. I start my injections tonight and continue for at least 10 days. I'm hoping that I won't get a lot of the physical side effects which are nausea, headaches, bloating etc because I'm worried about managing the hormonal and mood swing effects.
I go back next week for another u/s and blood work.

What Are Antral Follicles?
Antral follicles are small follicles (about 2-8 mm in diameter) that we can see - and measure and count - with ultrasound. Antral follicles are also referred to as resting follicles.
Vaginal ultrasound is the best way to accurately assess and count these small structures. In my opinion, the antral follicle counts (along with female age) are by far the best tool that we currently have for estimating ovarian reserve, the expected response to ovarian stimulating drugs, and the chance for successful pregnancy with in vitro fertilization.
Presumably, the number of antral follicles visible on ultrasound is indicative of the relative number of microscopic (and sound asleep) primordial follicles remaining in the ovary. Each primordial follicle contains an immature egg that can potentially develop in the future.
When there are only a few antral follicles visible, there are far fewer eggs remaining as compared to when there are more antrals. As women age, they have less eggs (primordial follicles) remaining and they have fewer antral follicles.
Antral follicle counts are a good predictor of the number of mature follicles that we will be able to stimulate in the woman's ovaries when we give injectable FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) medications that are used for in vitro fertilization.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Meds Arrived!

Well lookie there! The UPS man and my uterus are on the same schedule. After I opened up my giant box of meds I discovered I was spotting. You heard it here first! IVF #1 is on like Donkey Kong!

That medication stash takes up almost all of my kitchen table. It's definitely going to have to be a "let's take this one day at a time" situation because the thought of all of those vials being injected into me is pretty overwhelming.

I had to call the office today to alert them that my period came and I'm waiting for their call back with instructions on what to do next.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I ordered my IVF meds yesterday

It was completely depressing and a little exiting ordering the IVF meds yesterday.

Depressing because I spent $3200.00 before 8am in the hopes of having something most people can do with a $3 bottle of Boones Farm wine and some Bel Biv Devoe playing on the radio.

Exciting because let's get the damn show on the road already.

The meds should arrive today, so I will take a picture of the stash when it arrives.

So now we wait for my period to arrive so we can start the cycle.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Since I last blogged, I've had a period and a birthday.  While it was a lovely celebration, now that it's back to reality- I'm struggling emotionally. I'm now 30 and fall into a whole new age bracket on the infertility charts, with decreased odds of getting pregnant.

Why am I struggling? I'm not where I thought I would be in life at age 30 and there is still a lot of uncertainty as to when  or how I will get there.

What else have I been up to? I've been busy with work and using the rest of my energy to resist my very STRONG urge to tell people to go fuck themselves.

I finally spent $25 on a digital ovulation predictor kit (OPK) and I think it's a piece of shit. It had a 500 word PCOS disclaimer on the side of the box essentially stating "because ovulation is so irregular when you have PCOS, the kit may not work." My cheapie OPKs are saying I ovulated but the digital Clear Blue Easy OPK is still saying nothing. Piece of shit. I should've just lit $25 on fire and saved myself the aggravation.

We will find out in a couple weeks if it worked.